Portsmouth hall of fame

The Portsmouth Hall of Fame displays the details of some of Portsmouth's famous residents, some of who were born in Portsmouth and others who lived and worked in the City. Portsmouth has a wealth of famous people both present and in the past, these include writers, politicians, sports personalties and muscians.

If you know of someone who you feel should be included on these pages, but is missing, then please send us an email to info@welcometoportsmouth.co.uk and let us know the details.


Photo of comic actor Peter Sellers born in Portsmouth


Goon, Peter Sellers was born Richard Henry Sellers on September 8, 1925 in Southsea. Sellers' parents were vaudeville entertainers, and at two days old, Sellers was carried onto the stage at King's Theatre, Southsea. After appearing in over 60 films as well as on numerous radio and television shows throughout his career, Sellers died of a heart attack on July 24, 1980. Displaying his unending sense of humor, the comic said good-bye with one last joke. At Sellers' request, the song "In The Mood" was played at his funeral, a tune that he hated.

Photo of Katy Sexton, MBE from Portsmouth


Katy Sexton was born 21 July 1982 in Portsmouth. One of her most significant achievements was becoming the first British female swimmer to win gold at the 2003 World Championships in the 200m backstroke. She also competed in the 100m and 200m backstroke at the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens for Team GB, and has represented England at the Commonwealth Games in 1998, 2002 and 2006.

Photo of Portsmouth author Neville Shute.


British-born Australian novelist, an accomplished storyteller, whose best-known work, On the Beach (1957), was adapted for the screen in 1959. The picture became one of the most celebrated anti-Bomb films, and attracted much attention in Moscow because it was the first full-length American feature to have a premiere in the Soviet Union. Shute was educated as an aeronautical engineer and he used his expertise on technical issues and knowledge of aviation in his books. His novels Pied Piper (1942) and A Town Like Alice (1959) have also been made into major films. In 1922 Shute joined the de Havilland Aircraft Company. He worked as an aeronautical engineer, specializing in Zeppelins. He was a deputy chief on the Rigid Airship R100 project, one of the last of the British airships. He flew twice to America aboard it. The project ended after the 1930 R101 disaster. Next year Shute founded Airspeed Ltd at Portsmouth Airport

Photo of composer Freda Mary Swain.


Composer and Pianist, Freda was born in Portsmouth in 1902, she studied the piano with Dora Matthay and then at the Royal College of Music with Arthur Alexander, whom she married in 1921. She formed the British Music Movement in 1926 to promote the works of young composers and artists.During her career she wrote over 100 songs, a one-act opera Second Chance, a second unfinished opera The Shadowy Waters, a Suite for Six Trumpets, orchestral pieces, two string quartets and many other works. Freda died on the 29th January 1985 at the age of 82.

Portrait of a Naval Surgeon by Richard Ubsdell.


Richard Ubsdell (1812 - 1887) was a Portsmouth artist who specialised in painting portraits, miniatures and photography. His earliest surviving work is believed to be a watercolour of the jail on Portsmouth High Street, 1830 part of the Portsmouth Record Office Collection. Ubsdell and his brother Daniel exhibited at the Royal Academy 5 times and a number of his works are part of the National Maritime Museum collection, two of his watercolours from 1863 are in the Royal Collection. Ubsdell ran a photographic studio at 1 Green Row between 1857 and 1878. Ubsdell died on 4th June 1887 at 57 Brompton Road, Landport.

Percy F Westerman, author, born Portsmouth 1876.


Writer Percy F Westerman was born in Portsmouth in 1876, was educated at Portsmouth Grammar School and went on to a clerical job at Portsmouth Dockyard. Westerman wrote over 170 books and sold an estimated 1.6 million copies, mostly stories of high military adventure for boys. His first being A Lad Of Grit written in 1908. Many of his stories were in series and his characters included Standish of the Air Police and Cadet Alan Carr of the Merchant Navy. During the First World War Westerman was employed on coastal duties and as a navigation instructor, he died on February 22nd 1959.